We arrive at the Hotel Arcotel Camino in Stuttgart, weary after an action-packed day; a morning getting pierced in Paris’ 4th, a cross-country train ride, and an afternoon amongst the great Porsche’s of the last 80 years.
It is long after dark, and we have have just enough energy to trudge into the hotel, our heavy suitcases following closely behind us, clicking quite audibly against the polished floors of the very silent foyer.
What’s a girl like me doing at a car museum, you ask? Well, given that I planned and organised the whole six-week holiday, I thought it would be fair to let my husband have a say in some of it. So he got the Nurburgring, and the Porsche Museum.
The futuristic building that houses the Porsche Museum is a work of art in itself, let alone the treasure that lies within it’s belly. Sleek lines and a modern, shiny exterior mimic the automobile brand’s distinctive style. We begin our visit, funnily enough, at the very beginning. A beautiful, silver beast with a brushed-metal finish welcomes us at the entrance of the showroom; a prototype created in 1939, the body type 64 was the forefather for all Porsches, a primitive model but still breathtaking in its early form.
The Hotel Domstern is simple but clean, with friendly staff (although everyone we have met so far in Germany is friendly – we are greeted with cheery “hallo!”‘s everywhere we go!) and caters a decent breakfast. We wolf down some more delicious European yoghurt – this time the iconic German flavour, kirsche (cherry). To accompany it, plenty of bread, meat and cheese of course. We have a big day ahead – he will need a proper feed!
We set off to the Nurburgring so that he can play out every boy’s life-long dream to race around the legendary Green Hell. He’s been drilling himself for years on each corner, every dip and bump and ripple on the Playstation and the Xbox, lap after lap imprinted in his memory. Now, a mere hour’s drive from track, he has a grin to rival Heath Ledger’s Joker plastered across his face.
Crossing over into Germany on the train, we are startled when the dialect on the speakers suddenly switches. From the alien Czech, I am relieved to hear the comforting, familiar sound of Deutsch. We soon arrive at Berlin Haubtbahnhof (ja, Berlin!), where we jump on our connecting service.
Unable to find our reserved First-Class seats, the attendant tells us that we need to move to the train behind us. I take it to mean, there’s another train physically connected to this one, and that we’ll need to get off at the next stop and run along the platform to get back on. He understands this is as, we’ve taken the wrong train and need to get off, and get on the next one that comes along.
I am right, of course.